The Florida State Seminoles remain a decided favorite over the Auburn Tigers in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. The Seminoles are giving the Tigers 8.5 points at most Las Vegas casinos, but they are not guaranteed to win the contest.
There are a few ways that No. 2 Auburn can have a chance to pull off the upset in Pasadena.
Here is what to watch for in the big game on Jan. 6.
In almost all of Auburn’s big wins, Mason has had terrific performances. He had one of the best days of the college football season in the SEC title game, rushing 46 times for 304 yards and four touchdowns. In other contests, though, he’s stepped up in a major way. Against Alabama, he picked up 164 yards. He was also dominant with 178 yards in a victory over Texas A&M. Against the best team in the country, Mason will have to put up more big numbers if Auburn is going to have a chance of winning.
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Auburn went 12-1 in 2013, but they could easily have three or four losses. The Tigers had multiple last-second victories because of big plays. They beat Alabama with a last-second kick return, and got by Georgia in the previous game on a 73-yard touchdown pass. The Seminoles are too good for the Tigers to keep the game close without having one or two big plays. On the other hand, if the Seminoles can put together a few big plays, or be dominant on special teams, this game could be over soon.
If Jimbo Fisher's squad has one weakness, it might be in their pass protection. The offensive line has given up 13 sacks in the last five games, and they are 83rd in the nation on sacks allowed per pass attempt, according to ESPN. Jameis Winston will be the best player on the field, and doing anything to slow him down will be key for Auburn. The Tigers are 46th in the country with 28 sacks.